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The Supremacy of Christ Todd Tomasella “God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds; Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high.” Hebrews 1:1-3 The remnant disciple should take pleasure alone in the divine Person, work, and riches of Christ. It is in Jesus Christ alone that “the treasures of wisdom and knowledge…are hid.” (Col. 2:3) We are “complete in him, which is the head of all principalities and powers.” (Col. 2:10). The saint of Christ is privileged to savor and be ever grateful for the fullest sufficiency of “the redemption that is in Christ Jesus” who is the “propitiation for our sins.” (Rom. 3:24-25; 1 Jn 2:2; 4:10). He is afforded the opportunity to appreciate and delight in Christ’s name, life, power, and superiority, as the only “Head,” “high priest,” and mighty “Potentate” or supreme Ruler of His eternal kingdom. All others posing as such unduly elevate themselves as they seek to steal His glory. These are brazen wolves, thieves, counterfeit, and wholly false (Matt. 7:15-20; 24:5, 11, 24; Jn. 10:1; Col. 2:4-19; Heb. 3:1; 2 Jn. 7-11). “Which in his times he shall show, who is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings, and Lord of lords; Who only hath immortality, dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto; whom no man hath seen, nor can see: to whom be honour and power everlasting. Amen.” 1 Timothy 6:15-16 There exists no one else except Christ who is all of God, Creator, Redeemer, Savior, Counselor, and King of all kings (Jn. 1:1-4; Col. 1:1517; Eph. 3:9; Heb. 1:2-3; Rev. 1:8). Jesus Christ is unique in all of history. No other was born of a virgin by the Holy Ghost, called “God with us,” showed us the Father, lived a perfect and sinless life, conquered death by “the sacrifice of himself,” satisfied the claims of the Father’s justice as He did “taste death for every man,” died on a cross with the superscription “THE KING OF THE JEWS,” was buried and guarded by numerous soldiers and then fulfilled His own prophecy by rising from the dead to prove He is the very Son of God and Messiah, and promised to return for His own (Matt. 1:23; 24:30; 27:37; Jn. 1:1-
4; 14:9; Rom. 1:4; Heb. 2:9; 9:26). There is no one comparable to Jesus Christ. “More Than Conquerors” Romans 8:37 The fact that God opens a door does not mean there won’t be trials, tribulations, attacks, persecutions, circumstances, and hindrances associated with that direction and to endure. Remember the account in Mark 4:35-41 where Jesus and His disciples were in a boat traveling to the other side of body of water and a “great storm of wind” arose? Before they departed from the shore, Jesus had told them “Let us pass over unto the other side.” Did you catch that? You see, if Jesus Christ, the One who made that lake, said they were going to (definitive) “pass over unto the other side,” it is as sure as the divine that they were going to make it! There were 12 spies selected to survey the land of Canaan and yet 10 saw the obstacles as deal-killers while Joshua and Caleb knew and believed what God had told them that the land was theirs – “Send thou men, that they may search the land of Canaan, which I give unto the children of Israel: of every tribe of their fathers shall ye send a man, every one a ruler among them.” (Num. 13:2) This was the promised land the LORD was giving His people – He made that clear up front and yet, some didn’t embrace His Word to them and so fell and never entered that blessed land of plenty. Has the LORD called you to something? If so, what is it that is greater than the Almighty that could possible stop you from accomplishing what in His grace He is directing you to do? Read Numbers 13-14 closely and prayerfully. When we hear God speak and He leads us into something, we know He will see us through – no matter what stands against us! “For a great door and effectual is opened unto me, and there are many adversaries.” 1 Corinthians 16:9 The LORD had opened a “door” of serving for the apostle and yet there were “many adversaries” to be overcome and an infinite LORD of victory to trust in seeing those battles won. “God is able” says Ephesians 3:20 and 2 Corinthians 9:8! 2 Corinthians 9:8 “And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work.”
Ephesians 3:20 “Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us.” You have been given the victory through Christ’s victory – no matter what giant has and is presenting itself as an obstacle to the accomplishment of that conquest. This week I received a call from a sister in Jesus whom I have known for several years now. She is a very fruitful servant and witness for Christ and needed more Gospel tracts. As we talked over coffee, she communicated many of the trials she has and is enduring. Before we left she shared that she has not and will not (by God’s grace) cease to witness Christ to saved and lost souls alike. This is a blessed testimony of one who has not allowed a myriad of trials and tribulations to hinder her working for Jesus. She is still steadfastly “abounding in the work of the Lord.” 1 Corinthians 15:57-58 “But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.” You have His Word on it – so just lay down your life – the right to yourself - and be planted deeply in the soil of abidance and He will raise you up in His victorious resurrection power (Isa. 37:31; Jn. 12:24-25). Jesus is coming beloved – are you hidden in Him? – dead to self as He is raising you up for His blessed glory? (2 Cor. 4:10-12; Col. 3:3) “Satan Hindered Us” “Wherefore we would have come unto you, even I Paul, once and again; but Satan hindered us.” 1 Thessalonians 2:18 Though trial, test, tribulation, circumstance, or Satan arise against you, God will make you “more than a conqueror” through Jesus Christ through Him who loves you! (Rom. 8:37-39) “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.” Romans 8:28-29 Modern “False Apostles” The flippant use among “Apostolic Reformation” leaders of phrases like “God is saying to His Church” is presumptuous at best. These selfappointed leaders pretend to have some special inroad to the LORD and
use it to wield a false authority over His people. Of those who would control or be controlled in an undue fashion, the Son of God commanded: “Repent; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will fight against them with the sword of my mouth.” (see Rev. 2:6, 15-16) Self-Appointed & Self-Elevating “False Apostles” It seems that sinful men will always invent some new way to elevate themselves above others. This is no exception. Isn’t it interesting that these men who claim the LORD is restoring apostolic leadership just happen to be those “apostles” He is elevating to rule over His people (as they vainly suppose). Quite convenient isn’t it? Isn’t it interesting that they named their movement using the term “apostle” instead of servant? Why not “New Servant Reformation Movement”? Would that not be more biblical in nature? - in humility? Make no mistake, these men are self-appointed and self-elevating. It’s all about them and not Jesus Christ, who is “THE Apostle and high priest of our profession.” (Heb. 3:1) “Wherefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of our profession, Christ Jesus.” Hebrews 3:1 Here the Holy Spirit tells us to “consider ... Christ Jesus” whom He tells us is “the Apostle and High Priest of our profession.” The divine Person of the Holy Ghost here points us to Jesus Christ, the only Apostle that really matters. He never, not once, directs men who have been saved by the precious blood of “the Apostle and High Priest of our profession,” to look to human apostles. And we know by this that any person who even suggests such a thing is a “false apostle.” Only people who don’t read and heed their Bible can be hoodwinked by such rank charlatans. “Let me not, I pray you, accept any man's person, neither let me give flattering titles unto man. For I know not to give flattering titles; in so doing my maker would soon take me away.” Job 32:21-22 Perhaps the most authentic and powerful (human) kingdom apostle said this when dealing with self-appointed leaders at Galatia: “But of these (some other supposed apostles) who seemed to be somewhat, (whatsoever they were, it maketh no matter to me: God accepteth no man's person:) for they who seemed to be somewhat in conference added nothing to me.” Galatians 2:6 This is no new thing friends. As long as sinful men have been on earth, there have been those who emulate their father the devil in seeking to exalt themselves to rule over other men oppressively and to gain power and advantage and the rush of superiority over them (Isa. 14:12-15; 2
Pet. 2:19). This is exactly what these modern day “false apostles” are doing as they operate among the professing church. The idea that the LORD speaks through some special group of elite leaders is bogus and violates Scripture. God has chosen to speak through His Son and through His Word to bring men to Him and to bring about His desired end (Isa. 46:9-10; Lk. 24:47; Jn. 20:31; Heb. 1:2). The Good Shepherd of the sheep told us “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me.” (Jn.10:27) Any leader that makes it look like he has special access to the LORD should be departed from immediately, marked and openly exposed for the antichrist wolf that he is (Rom. 16:17-18; Eph. 5:11). The notion that God speaks from the top down among men is heretical. Think about this: Does Jesus need a socalled apostle’s permission to speak to an individual sheep He bled on the cross to save? Jesus taught us not to be called by titles that elevate one brother above another because He said “one is your Master, even Christ; and all ye are brethren.” (Matt. 23:8) The LORD Jesus said: “I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes.” (Matt. 11:25) From this statement we know that God actually hides His truth from those who are wise in their own eyes and reveals it to those who are humble and broken before Him. Those who elevate self through maninstituted religious hierarchy are doomed to destruction (Matt. 16:18; 23). The apostle Paul said “that ye might learn in us not to think of men above that which is written, that no one of you be puffed up for one against another.” (1 Cor. 4:6) Under the direct inspiration of the Holy Ghost, Paul also stated: “charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up.” (1 Cor. 13:4) “Emulations” is one of the 17 “works of the flesh” listed in Galatians 5. By definition, “emulations” means striving to excel at the expense of another. This is in contrast with what Christ taught and demonstrated in seeking to serve others and to prefer them above ourselves (Matt. 18:3-4; 20:20-28; Phil. 2:2-5). Of this sin this passage promises “that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.” (Gal. 5:21) At the expense of the masses, these men are willing to reign as kings, to be honored above that which is correct for mere men who are in their very best state “altogether vanity.” (Ps. 39:5) What did Jesus do when the people attempted to make Him king? To elevate oneself and office is to strive to excel at the expense of others whom they lure in to partake of their strange fire. “When Jesus therefore perceived that they would come and take him by force, to make him a king, he departed again into a mountain himself alone.” John 6:15
The LORD Jesus hid Himself when men sought to lift Him up. Today we have men in leadership who do just the opposite. They seek out and draw to themselves the praises and accolades of men instead of retreating from undue elevation and instead of seeking the praise that comes from God alone. Speaking of religious leaders of His day, Jesus said: “For they loved the praise of men more than the praise of God.” (Jn. 12:43) More here C. Peter Wagner The biblical contents contained in the Deceivers & False Prophets Among Us volume, have thoroughly equipped me for most attacks against discernment, warnings, exposings, markings, etc. In fact, when people have tried to condemn me about being what they viewed as "condemning" due to my obediently marking wolves, they ended up feeling very embarrassed at their own ignorance at the end of the conversation. Jesus alone be praised! His Word is truth and only the truth – when adhered to and continued in – can make men free (Jn. 8:31-32, 36). So, I do believe God is doing the same work in many lives through His Word in this book, equipping and emboldening His disciples with divine truth to overthrow all mere human reasoning, philosophies of men, and religious tradition (Col. 2:8). I want to highly recommend that you get a copy of this book and learn the Holy Scriptures contained therein. In studying God’s Word in a concentrated fashion on this subject, you will be greatly equipped to defend the faith. One lady I know has read it several times and highlighted nearly every word in the book. She told me she is grasping for and diligently ingesting and memorizing every truth from the Word brought forth in this volume. Jesus is coming and God be praised for all that He is doing in our lives. Amen LORD! Let's pray for our nation .... mainly that individuals would repent and turn fully to God through Jesus Christ. Remember that this life is like a vapor that appears for a short time and then vanishes away (into thin air - James 4:14).... and the only thing that will matter is whether or not one authentically belongs to Jesus Christ, the divine Person who came from Heaven's glory to live a sinless life, die on a wooden cross as the sacrifice for the sins of the whole world, and then be raised again the 3rd day ... He's coming soon ..... God bless all of us to turn fully to Him before it's too late (2 Chron. 7:14; Acts 3:19). More Evil and Destructive Fruit Resulting from the OSAS Teaching: Testimony of a Local Pastor Concerning the Tragic Eternal Loss of a Precious Soul Due to the Myth of Unconditional Eternal Security
“My friends Charles and his wife D. followed us after we left Grace Country Cowboy Church in Fort Worth, Texas. We left the church after the pastor ran off with another woman, a man who taught the unconditional eternal security heresy (OSAS – once saved always saved). The husband, Charles, had been clean from alcohol and drugs for five years, praying every day and night. Charles studied Scripture and had come to the biblical understanding and believed that if he backslid again it would cost him his life and send him to hell. While attending our Bible studies, Charles and D. were also attending meetings at another church. The pastor of that local church convinced Charles that he was saved no matter what he did and that he had no responsibility to truly fear and serve God in a real way in his daily life. As Satan told the first man and woman, this pastor taught Charles that there would be no eternal consequence for living in sin. This lie emboldened Charles to go back on heroin and several months later that he took an accidental overdose. Here is a clear case of how the teaching of unconditional eternal security is a license for sin and leads to many boldly sinning without the fear of the Lord and dying in a state of sin. This same false teacher/preacher assured everyone at the funeral that Charles was in heaven because he believed in Christ. Those who teach this false doctrine will have to give an account in the judgment to come and are responsible for the lost souls this teaching produces. The Bible tells us specifically that these men are ‘ungodly men’ (Jude 3-4).” Kelly Gallagher E-MAIL REC’D: Dear Todd, I read your article on exposing John Calvin. God opened my eyes and gave me a new heart a little over six years ago (Ezekiel 36:26). Since being regenerated by His hand I have not been able to put His sacred word down. About two years ago God through His word opened my eyes to His grace and the doctrines of grace. I have no desire to be labeled a "Calvinist", but only to follow Christ and His word. I think to oppose the spiritual teaching of Spurgeon. Whitefield, Edwards, John Owen, Calvin, Knox, JC Ryle, MacArthur, John Piper , and John Bunyan would not be wise. Grace is a very humbling thing. Two years ago when I would of probably agreed with you, God led me to Jeremiah 6:16 when I was confused about theology. "Thus says the LORD, "Stand by the ways and see and ask for the ancient paths, Where the good way is, and walk in it"
This might not mean much to you, but it led me to Spurgeon, Edwards, J. Owens, and Calvin. With Love, By grace I was saved, E. TODD’S RESPONSE: Beloved, when the LORD leads you, He is going to lead you to Jesus, Paul, Peter, John, Moses ...... one Word from Holy Scripture has more authority in it than all of these mere men you mentioned ..... their words are not in the canon of Scripture ..... so they have no authority ..... their teachings are not divinely inspired (2 Tim. 3:16; 2 Pet. 1:2021) ..... God’s Grace …
Gal. 5:4 - can be fallen from Heb. 12:15 - can be frustrated Titus 2:11-12 - always teaches one to deny ungodliness and worldly lusts and not justify them or give license to them Jude 3-4 - grace has been perverted by those false teachers who say God will not sever someone from His holy kingdom who goes back into sin after being truly saved (Rom. 11:22; Gal. 5:22-23; Rev. 21:8, 27; 22:15; 3:5, etc.).
Ready or not, Jesus is coming - for a Church without the spot of sin, todd www.SafeGuardYourSoul.com “Recently, I put another LOSER tract in the bank drive-up capsule. The bank teller lady informed me that they (the employees) had been passing the tracts around and reading them and that they liked them. She said to 'keep it up.'" Brian I. TX Laugh ! Check out job 5:22 - it's time to start laughing because the LORD is our Protector and our Provider ;) “At destruction and famine thou shalt laugh: neither shalt thou be afraid of the beasts of the earth.” Job 5:22 Jesus Christ is the Supreme God, Creator, and Sustainer of All that Is the Whole Universe “For by him (Christ) were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him,
and for him: And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.” Colossians 1:16-17 Whenever and wherever the living and eternal Word, the divine Person of Jesus Christ, is not being sought after, studied, emphasized, upheld, elevated, adored, praised, feared, and obeyed, false teachers are the leaders (Col. 1-2). Observing and walking in these divine truths nurtures saints and fosters a heart after God in them (Acts 13:22). Read Colossians 1-2 closely and prayerfully. The kingdom of God is all about Jesus Christ, and learning Christ is paramount to nurturing the fruit and increase of His love in our hearts and a desire to please Him above ourselves. This is foundational to our taking up the cross for the joy of glorifying the LORD supremely (Ps. 40:8; Heb. 12:2). Salvation is free to us because Jesus died once to purchase it for us, but once we repent and receive Christ who is our Salvation, it will cost us all. Consider the words of our LORD recorded in Luke 14:25-33: “And there went great multitudes with him: and he turned, and said unto them, If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple. And whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple … So likewise, whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be my disciple.” In most preaching, there is no fear of God, no urgency, no need to live repentance, no need to be ye holy as He is holy, no need to deny self and take up the cross, no need to have a perpetual and fervent prayer life, nor is there the constant reminder of judgment to come. The idea and notion so often conveyed is that we have been saved by Christ’s life and are therefore free to live as we wish. Not true! Jesus tells us here that “whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be my disciple.” Whose gospel are you following? Our LORD’s words need no explanation and anyone seeking this explained is perhaps seeking to water down this truth. (excerpt from the new book titled Raised Up) God’s “purpose” will never change – He has predestined you “to be conformed to the image of his Son.” Any person who leads and does not regularly speak of this cardinal truth, is a cross-less counterfeit, and a blind leader who is leading people into dark deception (Matt. 23:16,
24). Being conformed to the image of Jesus Christ can only come as a direct result of the working of divine grace as it leads the child of God to the death of self and then raises him up by His power - for His eternal glory. The ongoing work of God in the lives of His beloved people is always in conjunction with and according to the Gospel program of death, burial, and resurrection. There can be no raising up into a conquering victory unless the believer is willing and obedient to lay down his life in this world. This is what God is trying to get at in each of our lives. No believer is exempt nor will he want to be - when he realizes the blessedness of divine resurrection. The ultimate victory was wrought when Christ was raised from the dead. Resurrection is the completion, the final victory. The resurrection of Jesus guaranteed the resurrection of all of Christ’s servants here in this life and in the world to come. In fact, the apostle wrote that if “if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins.” (1 Cor. 15:17) There is a life to come and those who are living the Gospel are getting a taste of the ultimate raising up – when God will raise us from these mortal bodies to immortality in our new bodies to actually be with Him (1 Cor. 15; Phil. 3:20-21; Rev. 21). “If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable.” 1 Corinthians 15:19 God raises up all who choose to love Him supremely and therefore die to self that He might reign, conforming them in holiness to the image of His Son. “And declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead.” Romans 1:4 God is going to use all that happens in our lives (just or unjust) to conform us to the image of His beloved Son (Rom. 8:28-29). He is going to make us “more than conquerors” because He loves those who are truly His. “What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us? He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things? … Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things
present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:31-39 “The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.” Revelation 22:21
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Peter Wagner is the President of the Global Harvest Ministries and Chancellor of the Wagner Leadership Institute. Established in 1998, the Institute equips men and women for leadership positions in churches and translocal ministries. It is designed especially, but not exclusively, to meet the needs of leaders who have become a part of the New Apostolic reformation. Missions have been a watermark of Peter's career. From 1956 to 1971, he and his wife Doris served as missionaries in Bolivia under the South American Mission and Andes Evangelical Mission (now SIM International) Peter Wagner is a nut and a false teacher who claims that he is the head apostle of his movement and that he has the same authority as a foundational apostle. The fact that the Bible does not speak at all about any of these apostolic categories makes Mr. Wagner to be a liar and a deceiver and especially since he is not a worker of miracles! Understanding How Apostles Minister in Different Spheres http://www.globalharvest.org/spheres.htm A Special Ministry Today Interview Foundational or governmental gifts: The basic text is Ephesians 4:11: “And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers.” I like to call these foundational or governmental gifts or offices. Others call them “fivefold ministry” or “ascension gifts.” Now that these offices are being recognized, it is important to develop agreed-upon protocol as to how they should relate to each other positively. I have worked on apostles/prophets in Apostles and Prophets: The Foundation of the Church (Regal Books) and pastors/prophets in Pastors & Prophets: Protocol for Healthy Churches. I now see that some work needs to be done on apostles/apostles because it is becoming clear that there are many different kinds of apostles who minister in many different spheres. Definition of apostle: An apostle is a Christian leader gifted, taught,
commissioned, and sent by God with the authority to establish the foundational government of the church within an assigned sphere of ministry by hearing what the Spirit is saying to the churches and by setting things in order accordingly for the growth and maturity of the church. What I have excluded in this definition: There are three biblical characteristics of apostles which some include in their definition of apostle, but which I have chosen not to include: (1) signs and wonders (2 Cor. 12:12), (2) seeing Jesus personally (1 Cor. 9:1), and (3) planting churches (1 Cor. 3:10). My reason for this is that I do not understand these three qualities to be non-negotiables. They characterize many, perhaps most, apostles. But if a given individual lacks the anointing for one or more of them, this, in my opinion, would not exclude that individual from being a legitimate apostle. Hyphenated apostles: Before considering the different ways that apostles minister in different spheres, it is important to recognize that many apostles are “hyphenated apostles.” They are frequently hyphenated with other government offices, such as Apostle-Prophet or Pastor-Apostle or Apostle-Evangelist, etc. They can also be hyphenated within the different ministry categories pertaining to apostles, such as horizontal apostle-vertical apostle or convening apostle-mobilizing apostle, etc. The title “Apostle”: There continues to be discussion as to the necessity of actually applying the title “apostle” to individuals in the church today. Some argue that functioning as an apostle is enough without needing to use the title. My conclusion is the contrary. While I concede that the function is the most essential consideration, I also believe that there is increased power in the use of the title “apostle.” The function, in my opinion, will be more anointed and more of a service to the church if the title is used. Jesus Himself was the one who coined the new term “apostle,” (Luke 6:13) (It does not appear in the Old Testament.), and I suspect that He had a distinct purpose for doing it. Later on, both Paul and Peter introduced themselves in their epistles with the title “apostle.” Today we freely use the titles “pastor” or “reverend” or “bishop” or “evangelist” or “doctor” (i.e., teacher), and there seems to be little reason, other than a possible fear of change, to exclude the title “apostle” as a designation for contemporary church leaders. It is also important to recognize that “apostle” occurs in one of the lists
of spiritual gifts in 1 Corinthians 12 (see 1 Cor. 12:28). The gift and its accompanying office are significant enough to be declared, along with prophets, as the foundation of the church (see Eph. 2:20). The adjective alone is not enough: Some advocates of the apostolic movement have chosen to use the adjective “apostolic” in their writings to the exclusion of the noun “apostle.” They speak of “apostolic leadership” or “apostolic churches” or “apostolic ministry” with the implication that by doing so they are describing apostles. There are at least two reasons for this. (1) Some use the adjective and not the noun because they do not believe that the gift and office of apostle are operative in the church today. A case in point is the American Assemblies of God. An official public denominational position statement was issued by the General Presbytery of the General Council of the Assemblies of God on August 11, 2000 under the title, “Endtime Revival—Spirit-Led and SpiritControlled: A Response Paper to Resolution 16.” Under a subsection, “Deviant Teachings Disapproved,” one of what is referred to as a departure from scripture which threatens the life and stability of local churches is “The problematic teaching that present-day offices of apostles and prophets should govern church ministries at all levels.” This teaching is attributed to “persons with an independent spirit and an exaggerated estimate of their importance to the kingdom of God.” Such persons are “wrongly interpreting 1 Corinthians 12:28 and Ephesians 2:20 and 4:11.” This paper argues that “The leadership of the local church, according to the Pastoral Epistles, is in the hands of elders/presbyters and deacons. There is no indication in these last writings of continuing offices of apostles and prophets, though the ministry functions still continue.” The section ends by arguing for the adjective, not the noun: “We affirm that there are, and ought to be, apostolic- and prophetic-type ministries in the Church, without individuals being identified as filling such an office.” Just as a footnote, David Cartledge of the Australian Assemblies of God, in his book Apostolic Revolution (Paraclete Institute), attributes this position of the American Assemblies of God to “Pentecostal Cessationists!” (p. 236). (2) Another reason given for this by those who do believe that the office of apostle is operational today is that the adjective could provide more of an entry level approach for others who might not yet be ready to recognize the office implied by the noun “apostle.” This was the case with the first book on the apostolic movement published in Australia,
Out There! The Church of the 21st Century, edited by Ben Gray. However, as John Eckhardt points out in his book Leadershift, every church should be an apostolic church, every believer should be apostolic, every teacher should be apostolic, every evangelist should be apostolic, and so on. If this is the case, which I agree with, then the adjective “apostolic” is not specific enough to substitute for “apostle” as a noun. Apostolic Spheres. Among practicing apostles, I have found a relatively low level of practical understanding of apostolic spheres. All apostles recognize that they have divine authority, but not all are aware that this authority is only activated within a divinely-appointed sphere. Once apostles get outside of their sphere, they have no more authority than any other member of the body of Christ. Paul relates spheres to authority in 2 Cor. 10. In verse 8 he “boasts” of his authority, leading to verses 13-16 in which he deals with spheres. He says, for example, “We, however, will not boast beyond measure, but within the limits of the sphere which God appointed us—a sphere which especially includes you” (2 Cor. 10:13). This reflects Paul’s remarkable statement in 1 Cor. 9:2: “If I am not an apostle to others, yet doubtless I am to you.” Toward a useful terminology. The current apostolic movement is so new, and it is developing at such a dizzying speed, that a considerable amount of confusion has arisen. Who is an apostle? Are all apostles the same? How do bona fide apostles minister? I believe that the answers to these and other similar questions will emerge through a phenomenological approach. This is the methodology that I have used to arrive at a continually-developing set of conclusions. Terminology that accurately describes current apostolic phenomena will greatly help dispel the confusion. Here is a terminology that seems to me to be helpful, at least at this moment: Vertical Apostles
Ecclesiastical apostles. Apostles who are given authority over a sphere which includes a number of churches, presumably in an apostolic network headed up by the apostle. Functional apostles. Apostles who are given authority over those who have an ongoing ministry in a certain specific sphere of service which has defined boundaries of participation.
Apostolic Team Members. Apostles whose apostolic ministry functions in conjunction with an apostle who is seen as the leader of a team of one or more other peer-level vertical apostles. They may be assigned specific spheres by the leading apostle. These are more than administrators or assistants or armor-bearers.
Congregational apostles. Apostles functioning as senior pastors of dynamic, growing churches of more than 700-800. Horizontal Apostles Convening apostles. Apostles who have authority to call together on a regular basis peer-level leaders who minister in a defined field.
Ambassadorial apostles. Apostles who have itinerant, frequently international, ministries of catalyzing and nurturing apostolic movements on a broad scale.
Mobilizing apostles. Apostles who have the authority to take leadership in bringing together qualified leaders in the body of Christ for a specific cause or project.
Territorial apostles. Apostles who have been given authority for leading a certain segment of the body of Christ in a given territorial sphere such as a city or state. Marketplace Apostles It seems clear that some marketplace apostles would be vertical (perhaps within a large company) while others would be horizontal (bringing together peer-level marketplace apostles). The more we work with marketplace apostles, the more clarity will come in due time. Please note: Dr.Wagner functions as a horizontal apostle within a
sphere of recognized apostles. As such, Dr.Wagner does not provide apostolic 'covering' or accountability as a vertical apostle.
READ ALSO THIRD WAVE EXPOSED http://www.scribd.com/doc/15902535/THIRD-WAVE-EXPOSED New Apostolic Reformation http://www.scribd.com/doc/16611959/New-Apostolic-Reformation RICK JOYNER MORNINGSTAR MADNESS http://www.scribd.com/doc/16333854/RICK-JOYNER-MORNINGSTARMADNESS Third Wave Deceivers http://www.scribd.com/doc/14708726/Third-Wave-Deceivers Todd Is Back http://www.scribd.com/doc/16725487/Todd-Is-Back
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